I’ve never been a huge fan of nandinas in the garden. I find the more typical forms very difficult to integrate from a design perspective, and I find the popular Nandina ‘Firepower’ to be near the top of the list of most grotesquely ugly plants used in American landscapes. Yes, it’s colorful, but the plant lacks any grace, and has the form of a pile of wet red Kleenex.
Of the older cultivars, I like Nandina ‘Harbor Dwarf’, with it’s low spreading form, but the paucity of fruit keeps most people from planting it. The only downside for us is that it spreads to cover a very large footprint, so can choke out other nearby plants. We continue to trial all of the new nandina introductions to see if anything strikes our fancy.
My favorite member of the genus, which I first met at the JC Raulston Arboretum back in the 1980s, is Nandina domestica ‘Filamentosa’. This cutleaf, slow-growing, non-fruiting selection from Japan is often marketed under the trade name San Gabriel. It adds a distinctly Japanese flavor to the landscape, which is why we planted a mass in our new Japanese garden. Here is a photo from this week with it’s lovely rosy winter color. Winter hardiness is Zone 6b-9a.
Fear not! Life in an apartment, condominium, or rented house does not preclude you from having your own botanical garden. All you need is a little sunlight, proper potting media, and a good pot. Join Meghan Fidler and Chris Hardison on Saturday, June 29 from 10am-noon for our Container Gardening workshop and learn how to create container plantings that will be the envy of all your friends and family.
The rules of creating a container garden are dictated by the amount of sun, heat, and cold that your container will experience as well as the plants you choose.
If you are limited on land space for planting, you may choose to plant a mixture of different herbs for culinary use. The combination of leaf textures, leaf color, and herbs of varying heights can create a planting combination that is both delicious and decorative.
Variegated foliage combined with long blooming perennials or annuals adds a splash of color or can create a focal point just where you need it. So, think inside the pot and explore the world of container gardening!